Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pressed Pennies by best selling author Steven Manchester - Book Promo at Janna Shay's

I’m very excited to welcome back best selling author Steven Manchester. His newest novel, Pressed Pennies, was released on May 13, 2014, and Steven was kind enough to provide us with some information and an excerpt.

Steven’s has won numerous awards for his novels and has been #1 on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s best seller lists. I will be providing a review of Pressed Pennies in the near future, in the meantime, please read below about Steven’s fantastic new book, then hurry to one of the book sellers listed to grab your copy.

Steven Manchester

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

Pressed Pennies is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.

~~~Purchase Links~~~


Beneath a wet sky, the rest of the night was spent getting caught up. For Rick, it felt like old times—even though he had no idea who Abby was as an adult.

They reminisced first about Rick’s grandma and father. “So how are they?” Abby asked. “I always loved them, you know.”

He smiled. “Dad lives in New Hampshire now, working with delinquent kids.”

She smiled, her head cocked. “Did he ever remarry?”

“No. He’s never stopped loving my mom enough to pursue another woman. I guess in his own way he still grieves her death.”

Abby’s mouth twisted slightly, forming itself into a frown; she was clearly touched by the undying love the man had for his wife.

“I think Grandma’s right,” Rick added. “When my dad passes, I’m betting that he and my ma will spend eternity making up for lost time.”

Abby nearly cooed at the sweet sentiment. “I’ll never forget his dog, Roy,” she said.

Rick took a sip of beer and chuckled. “Believe it or not, he actually has Roy’s grandson now—Ray.”

She shook her head and laughed. “Roy and now Ray. What was the dog’s name in between?”

“Screw Up.”

Abby was sent into a state of hysterics.

Rick shrugged and laughed along with her.

“And Grandma?” she asked, regaining her composure.

Rick nodded. “Still spry and spunky…just a really cool person. You know her motto: ‘The body doesn’t wear out, it rusts.’ She’s still listening to her music and raising holy hell.”

Abby smiled at the familiar phrase.

“And she got married,” Rick said.


“Yep. His name is Bill Stryker and they’re perfect for each other.” He took another swig of beer. “She still makes me sit for dinner every Sunday.” Rick then asked about Abby’s parents.

There was a sad pause. “My mom passed away,” Abby said, “from a lack of purpose, I’d say. And I haven’t spoken to my father for a few years now.” She tried to shake off the pain. “We no longer share a relationship… just some really bad memories. I imagine he’s still committing suicide the long way.”


“Yup, still doing laps in his bottle.”

Rick put his beer on the table and quickly changed the subject.

“Have you heard from any of the old Wilbur Avenue gang?”

Abby’s smile returned. “From what I hear, Vinny became an attorney and is living with his wife in Vermont.” She thought for a moment. “I don’t know how anyone could stand to live with him.”

Rick laughed.

“Tracy became a psychologist and moved to Utah.”

“Married?” Rick asked.

“A-sexual, I think.”

They both laughed. Rick couldn’t stop staring at her great smile and adorable dimples.

“Actually, I heard she lives with her lesbian lover and goes by the new name Cheyenne.”

“You’re kidding me, right?”

Abby shook her head.

“Good for her,” Rick said.

“But I haven’t heard anything about Grant,” Abby added.

Rick leaned forward. “You’re not going to believe this, but the first day I walked into college…there was Grant talking to some pretty, unsuspecting freshman.”

Abby shook her head.

“I still see him every Tuesday night,” Rick said. “We shoot a little pool and a whole lot of bull.”

She was shocked. “How is he?”

“The same…emotionally amputated; socially challenged.”

As the laughter continued, she asked, “Do you remember the last time your dad brought us all to Lincoln Park? Believe it or not, I still think about that sometimes.”

“Are you kidding?” Rick said. “I could live a hundred lifetimes and never forget that day!” And without his permission, his mind immediately raced back to the smack of screen doors and the echoes of foolish, barefooted children running toward the future.
~~~About the Author~~~

Steven Manchester is the author of The Rockin' Chair, as well as the #1 best seller, Twelve Months (2013 San Francisco, DIY & New England Book Festivals award winner). He is also the author of A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Goodnight, Brian (2013 Southern California Book Festival award winner), and Pressed Pennies (due out May 2014). His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com

~~~Connect with Steven Manchester~~~

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book review - No Chance in Hell & interview with Jerrie Alexander at Janna Shay's

Please help me welcome multi-published author Jerrie Alexander, whose newest book, NO CHANCE IN HELL was released on April 20, 2014. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to review NO CHANCE IN HELL, which you can read below, and to have Jerrie agree to an interview so we may all get to know her better.
Thank you, Jerrie, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us today.

I'm thrilled to join you this morning! Hanging out with friends is always fun.

Please tell us a little something about you.

I love to write about alpha males and kick-ass women. I let them weave their way through death and fear to emerge stronger because of, and on occasion in spite of, their love for each other. If they’re strong enough, they live happily ever after.

My husband and I live outside of Ft. Worth, Texas, where my brother refers to as the 'boonies.' Our awesome daughter and her husband presented us with a granddaughter. She helps me brainstorm when I'm developing a title for a book, even though she's way too young to read any of them.

It’s so wonderful that you have a close relationship with your granddaughter. Besides having her brainstorm with you, what is the most thrilling aspect of writing for you?

Other than, say typing the end? Just joking, I enjoy the satisfaction of completing the project, but the most fun ever is logging onto my email and finding that a reader has contacted me!

Last week, I received an email from a reader who lives in Australia. How cool is that! She took the time to reach out and let me know she'd read No Chance in Hell and loved it. There's no greater high than that...not for this writer. 

Absolutely. It’s so exciting when a reader takes the time to tell you how much they like something you’ve written. Speaking of writing, how do you begin your stories? Do you plot and outline or do you just sit down and start writing?

Great question. Just the word plot sends shivers up my spine. I envy people who can do that. For me it's a slow process. I have to come up with an idea that is plausible and then research like crazy. Then I sit down, develop a profile for each character, and then start writing. I let my characters direct their own story.

Plotting is daunting to many great authors. As evidenced by your
books, it hasn’t hindered your success at all. Will you tell us a little bit about your newest release, No Chance in Hell?

After a drunk driver killed Marcus Ricci’s wife while he was deployed in Afghanistan, he closed up emotionally. Working at Lost and Found, Inc., he lands a puzzling case with too many missing pieces. A killer is closing in on the woman Marcus is supposed to protect. Guarding the beautiful Chris is his job—and he’s one of the best—but keeping her close without letting her inside, makes it hard to protect his heart.  

A murderer took the only family Chris Holland had left. When her sister's killer comes after Chris, she turns to the Lost and Found agency for help. As she and Marcus Ricci dig into her background, they’ll discover surprises that shake everything she believes to be true about her past.

Forced together day and night, passion ignites, and Chris falls for Marcus. He's a loner and not interested in a permanent relationship. When her case is over, he'll go back to his solitary life. Just a man and his dog.  

Another excellent romantic suspense. Where did you get your inspiration for your books?

Truth? After I finish writing a book, I agonize that I'll never again have an original idea. I'll pour over FBI profile books and read every story in the newspaper. Once something piques my interest, the research starts. For example, I read big events like the Super Bowl or World Series increases human trafficking in the host city. In fact, it skyrockets. That was the trigger for Hell or High Water.

You have written many terrific books, and we’re sure you have favorite parts in each of them, but what is your favorite part of No Chance in Hell?

Now that the book is out, my favorite part has to be Diablo! I'd never given an animal a pivotal role in one of my books, but his transformation had to play a role in No Chance in Hell. While I was writing the story, I kept forgetting him! I'd be working, writing away and stop. Where's the dog? :) But Diablo turned out to be my favorite part of the book.

I have read many of your books and have never been disappointed. No Chance in Hell is no exception.  Would you mind sharing an excerpt from your book to spark everyone’s interest?

Thank you. And thanks for asking for an excerpt.

Chris Holland's eyes flew open. The room was pitch black. She always left the light in the kitchen on. It should have been burning brightly. Her muscles tightened, coiled, ready for her to spring out of bed. She slipped her hand under her pillow, reaching for the cool butt of her gun. She found nothing. Before she could react, something hard pressed into her temple.

"Looking for this?" a male voice whispered.

A wave of terror washed through her, filling her with emotions she'd never experienced. She didn't think for one second that he was a burglar. This was the murdering bastard who'd butchered Chelsea.

"You'd better use it now. If I get out of this bed, I won't be as easy to kill as my sister."

He made a low-pitched sound that filled her veins with ice. Had he actually chuckled?

The tip of the pistol pressed deeper into her skin.

"Calm down. I didn't come to kill you. But it's time we talked."

"You mean like over a cup of coffee?" Chris did her best to keep her voice steady. No doubt, he'd heard the tremble in her words. "Put down the gun, and I'll go put on a pot."

He wouldn't accept her offer, and she knew it. But it might buy her some time. If she could get to the kitchen, she might get to the weapon hidden in the back of a drawer of utensils. Chris lifted her shoulders, as if trying to rise.

 "You really didn't think I'd fall for that." A gloved hand stroked her cheek, sending her into a full-body shiver. "Your sense of humor is refreshing."

Chris strained to see some part of him in the dark. Anything that might wake up her memory would be helpful. "How'd you get in?"

"I can't give away all my secrets, but I found you again, didn't I? Suffice it to say, I'm a great deal smarter than you think. The only reason you're still alive is because I want you that way."

"Oh. I get it. You're a god. Deciding who lives and dies must weigh heavily."

"Do not push me. You think you're so much better than I am. Growing up in the lap of luxury, you never had to worry about your next meal. Some of us were lucky to eat once a day." His soft tone had turned hard, menacing. "I'll be back. When depends on you. If you make new friends over here in your new neighborhood, let them hang around you, I will kill them. It would be a mistake to bring them into your home."

The pressure eased on her temple, and icy lips brushed her forehead. Something covered her nose and mouth. "Breathe."

She fought his command, holding her breath. A sharp blow landed to her abdomen, and she gasped, inhaling deeply.

That excerpt definitely leaves the reader wanting to find out what happens next.  If they haven’t had a chance to read any of your books, they will surely want to read this newest one. We’ve learned about your writing, now we’d like to know a little more about you. Describe your typical day.

Right now, I'm constantly moving! We're doing some house renovations, and I seem to be in the way a lot. We have to stop watching Property Brothers on HGTV. (But aren't they gorgeous?)

Typically, I'll have a cup of coffee with Buddy. He's our rescue dog, meaning he saved us. :) Then I start on social media. I enjoy staying in touch with friends and readers. Then I'll write or research a while before mixing in a little housework. We live a fairly quiet life out here in the 'boonies'.

Agreed. The Property Brothers are gorgeous. If you could spend a week anywhere, where would you go and what would you do during that week?

Ireland! My ancestry traces back to a family named Boyde. It was later changed to Boyd, my maiden name. I'd love to have my own personal guide, so I wouldn't miss a thing. It would be awesome to walk the ground he and his family walked.

That sounds fabulous. And you’ve decided on a male guide – even better. Where was I? Talking about men always make me lose my place. Oh, right – back to the interview. What genre do you like to read, and who are some of your favorite authors?

I love romantic suspense. Allison Brennan and Cindy Gerard are great authors. Truth be told, I want to be Linda Howard when I grow up. :) She writes the best contemporary romantic suspense ever. My guilty pleasure is historical romance. It's a fun break from the suspense, and Elizabeth Hoyt can sweep me away to a different era.

Great choices. They’re all fantastic authors. If you could have any three wishes granted, what would they be?

Tough one.

It's selfish, but my first would be that my husband's health remain strong. He's been ill, but he's is doing much better.

Second would be my family's well being.

Third would be that no child go to bed hungry or afraid.

None of your choices are selfish. I know your husband has been ill for some time, and I’m so glad to hear he’s doing better. Maybe, our readers will say some prayers to help make your wish come true. And if we all try, maybe all your wishes will come true. 
What are you currently working on, and when can we expect your next book?

I'm half way through book one in a new series. My books are written to stand alone...no cliffhangers...but each secondary character has his or her own book. I'm also searching for an idea for book four in the Lost and Found, Inc. series.

It's not unusual for me to have two projects going at one time. Keeps me from getting bored. :)

Fun facts

Favorite dessert – Blue Bell ice cream
Pet Peeve – Rude customer service people
Favorite pastime – Spending time with my granddaughter and her mother
Favorite feature on a man - His smile
Least favorite household chore - Bathroom duty. I hate cleaning the toilet!
Something you like about yourself - Whew. Tough one. Have to be my snarky sense of humor.
Tall, dark & handsome or blonde & gorgeous - Oddly enough, I usually write tall, dark & handsome. I married blonde and handsome.
~~~Review of No Chance in Hell~~~

Chris Holland has been running from her sister’s killer for two years, but the killer always seems to locate her. When he finds her latest hideout and issues a threat, she decides to turn to the Lost and Found, Inc. to help her find the killer and bring him to justice. Marcus Ricci is given the task of protecting Chris and helping her. Closed off emotionally after his wife’s untimely death, Marcus finds himself drawn to Chris even though he’s held himself apart from people.

No Chance in Hell takes off running from the very first page and doesn’t let up until the thrilling climax. Jerrie Alexander demonstrates her talent for words by crafting yet another highly suspenseful love story with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and interested. The main characters are well developed and likeable, including Marcus’ dog Diablo, who has a large part in the story and is awesome. However, don’t let the cuteness of the dog throw you. The reader’s pulse quickens and heart pounds as the villain splashes his evil thoughts and deeds on the pages of this novel.

The heat, suspense, and romance that fill this story bring out a myriad of emotions that keep the reader turning the pages rapidly.  A thrilling ride that will have you rooting for the happily ever after between the sexy, lamenting hero and the tough, determined heroine. A definite must read.

~~~Purchase Links~~~

Amazon  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Google Play  
~~~About the Author~~~

A student of  creative writing in her youth, Jerrie set aside her passion, when life presented her with a John Wayne husband and a wonderful daughter.  A career in logistics offered her the opportunity to travel to many beautiful locations in America, and she revisits them in her romantic suspense novels.

She writes alpha males and kick-ass women who weave their way through death and fear to emerge stronger because of, and on occasion in spite of, their love for each other.  She likes to torture people, make them suffer, and if they’re strong enough, they live happily ever after.

Author of The Lost and Found, Inc. series, HELL OR HIGH WATER , COLD DAY in HELL, NO CHANCE in HELL, with single titles, THE GREEN-EYED DOLL, THE LAST EXECUTION, and SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, Jerrie is currently working on No Great Hell.

She continues to hone her craft, write what she loves, and hopes her readers love the stories she writes.  She lives in Texas, loves sunshine, children’s laughter, sugar (human and granulated), and researching for her books.

~~~Follow Jerrie Alexander~~~

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